The Top 5 Most Iconic ‘American Horror Story’ Characters!

After 11 complete seasons we have seen many unique characters take center stage, but there are some that have stuck with us throughout the years.

With 11 seasons and tons of blood under its belt, American Horror Story returns yet again for its 12th season, American Horror Story: Delicate, featuring series familiars like Emma Roberts and series newcomer Kim Kardashian. Let’s take a look at which 5 character performances left the biggest mark on the series in celebration of AHS: Delicate, releasing September 20th.

Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot Tattler (AHS: Freak Show)

Starting our list off strong is the two-for-one deal that is Bette and Dot Tattler of the fourth season, AHS: Freakshow, played by the very talented Sarah Paulson. Conjoined twins Dot and Bette are different in everything except the shared body they both have. Dot is stoic and guarded while Bette is free-spirited and impulsive. No matter their differences the twins stole the show with their tension filled relationship, dark pasts, and savory relationship with the character Jimmy Darling, played by Evan Peters. Sarah Paulson’s “double feature” paid off, nabbing her a Satellite Award and an Emmy nomination.

Evan Peters as James March (AHS: Hotel and AHS: Apocalypse)


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Wow is all we can say when it comes to James March, played by Evan Peters in not one but two seasons of American Horror Story. Appearing in seasons Apocalypse and Hotel, Peters set the bar high playing one of the most sadistic characters to be on T.V. From murder to being acquaintances with the literal antichrist Michael Landon, he made sure to give it his all for his role as the architect of the Hotel Cortez. He received a Fangoria nomination for Best T.V Supporting Actor in 2015 and more fan edits than one would think.

John Carroll Lynch as Twisty (AHS: Freak Show and AHS: Cult)


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This is one clown you do not want for a birthday party. Debuting in AHS: Freakshow, Twisty is played by supreme talent, John Carroll Lynch and has one of the saddest backstories AHS has ever seen. He was originally a kind circus clown with a mental disability but after false rumors and lack of success, he attempted to take his own life. In his failed attempt he gained his gruesome face wound which he now covers with his iconic mask. With his sanity and voice gone, he seeks to “entertain” children with murder and mayhem. It was only natural for this fan favorite to make a brief series return in AHS: Cult to terrorize the character Oz Mayfair-Richards and his family. Outside of the show this clown has been spotted at numerous conventions offering photos and the creepiest of smiles.

Lady Gaga as The Countess (AHS: Hotel)


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If you ever doubted Lady Gaga’s talent for acting, treat yourself to her performance in American Horror Story’s fifth season, Hotel. Gaga plays The Countess/Elizabeth, the owner of the mysterious Hotel Cortez, where the season takes place. On top of being the owner of a hotel, The Countess is an immortal vampire with a massive appetite for blood and pleasure whose ultimate fate is left currently unknown due to the time travel interference of some witches (it’ll all make sense when you watch the show, trust me). This femme fatale is some of the best AHS has to offer which is why in 2016, Lady Gaga would collect her first Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Television Motion Picture for her work as The Countess.

Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars (AHS: Freakshow)


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If you didn’t expect Jessica Lange to be on this list, you might want to rewatch her performance as Elsa Mars in AHS: Freakshow because she commanded everyone’s attention when she graced the scene. Elsa Mars is the ringleader of the “freaks” of Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities who wants nothing more to be the international star she believes she can be. Being victim to some of the worst things humanity can conjure in post World War 1 Germany, Elsa Mars will go through anyone if they are in her way of stardom, even her own circus “family” if need be. After a season full of murder, dismemberment, and a cover performance of David Bowie’s song, “Life on Mars?”, Elsa Mars was intended to be Lange’s series farewell performance as she originally decided not to return to the series until she later reappeared in AHS: Apocalypse for a brief moment. Because of this decision, Lange does her absolute best and gives a performance that no series fan will soon forget. It’s this performance that has inspired numerous cosplays (like the one above) among fans of the show and horror in general.

About the Author

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Michael Coppola

Michael Coppola is a digital media student, an intern for AfterBuzz, and most importantly a kid who loves shows and movies more than anything.